Industry Fact Sheet

The Moving & Storage  Industry Statistics

Consists of 8,100 companies operating at 17,000 locations primarily providing moving and storage services for household and office goods

Includes van lines, van line agents, independent full-service movers, international movers, forwarders, and auto transporters

Employs 122,600 people with an annual payroll of $3.6 billion

Is composed of mostly small businesses:

  •   47.8% of industry companies employ fewer than 5 people.
  •   Only 8.5% of industry companies employ 100 or more people.

AMSA members report operating a fleet of 50,000 trucks (32,000 tractor units for pulling semi-trailers and 18,000 straight trucks) regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation and state motor vehicle agencies

If services are conducted across state lines, the firm must be licensed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  Professional movers may also be under the jurisdiction of state regulatory agencies

  • AMSA consists of more than 3,200 member companies (about 45% of the industry) including Moving and storage companies,
  • International companies in 80 countries, and
  • Over 200 companies in the industry’s supply chain.
  • AMSA is affiliated with a network of 27 state moving associations

Our Services

Include local and long-distance transportation of household and office goods; warehousing and storage services; packing and packaging services; process, distribution, and logistics consulting; merchandise sales and other services.

Industry revenue from these services totals more than $16.5 billion annually. The following three areas combined account for 97.3% of revenue:

  • 69.6% from local or long-distance transportation service
  • 20.2% from warehousing and storage services
  • 7.5% from packing and packaging services

Interstate shipments by type, percentage (2005):

  • Household goods: 67.8% (including 11% military and 1% other government)
  • Computers, copiers and other electronic office equipment: 25.5%
  • Exhibits and trade shows: 6.4%
  • Office and institutional:  0.3%

Interstate household goods moves, annual number (2006):  2.42 million (Census estimate)

  • by professional movers:  800,000
  • by consumer with rented truck: one million ] AMSA estimates
  • by consumer unassisted:  1.2 million

INTRAstate household goods moves, annual number (2006): 14 million (Census estimate)

  • by professional movers:  TBD
  • by consumer with rented truck: TBD
  • by consumer unassisted: TBD

Percentage of household moves by market type (2005):

  • Individuals:      48.9%
  • Corporate:       33.4%
  • Military:           16.2%
  • Other govmt:      1.5%

Reasons for move (Census’ American Housing Survey Results 2001)

  • Larger/better home         30.50%
  • Establish own home       16.90%
  • Closer to work/school     13.40%
  • New job/transfer             12.80%
  • Family related                 10.60%
  • Lower maintenance          7.00%
  • Renter to owner                6.60%
  • Financial/employment       6.20%
  • Loss of spouse                 3.00%

Ten Most Active Metro Areas/Inbound Household Goods (2005 AMSA)

  • Washington, DC
  • Phoenix/Mesa
  • Atlanta
  • Seattle/Bellevue/Everett
  • Dallas
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Los Angeles/Long Beach
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater
  • Denver

Ten Most Active Metro Areas/Outbound Household Goods (2005 AMSA)

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Chicago
  3. Los Angeles/Long Beach
  4. Phoenix/Mesa
  5. San Diego
  6. Atlanta
  7. New York City
  8. Boston
  9. Philadelphia
  10. Detroit

Ten Most Active States/Inbound Household Goods (2005 AMSA)

  1. Florida
  2. Texas
  3. California
  4. North Carolina
  5. Arizona
  6. Georgia
  7. Washington State
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Illinois
  10. New York

Ten Most Active States/Outbound Household Goods (2005 AMSA)

  1. California
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. New York
  5. Illinois
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Georgia
  8. Arizona
  9. North Carolina
  10. Washington State

Ten Most Active States/All Household Goods Movements (2005 AMSA)

  1. California
  2. Florida
  3. Texas
  4. New York
  5. Arizona
  6. North Carolina
  7. Illinois
  8. Georgia
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Washington State

Our Customers

  • Americans who move, annual percentage: 13%
  • Americans who move, annual number:  38.7 million, or 16.5 million households @ 2.34 persons per household (2006 Census estimate)
  • 65%  moved within the same county   (23 million)
  • 19%  moved to a different county within the same state (7.4 million)
  • 84%  moved within the same state   (32.6 million)
  • 12.6% moved to a different state   (4.9 million)
  • 3% moved to the US from another country   (1.2 million)

Average cost of an interstate household move:  About $4,200, based on an average weight of 7,400 pounds and average distance of 1,225 miles (2007) and including packing and other services that might be needed average cost of a household move:

Factors in price increases: Mainly higher equipment and labor costs.  Other factors can include increases in insurance premiums, state regulatory activity and diesel fuel prices.

Moves without claim, percentage: More than 80% of all moves have no claim filed (consistent for more than a decade – has been as high as 82%), and almost all (99.99%) claims are resolved before arbitration. Filed claims can include customer-packed shipments which may have contributed to damages.

Top five tips for a successful move:

  • Be wary of phone or Internet estimates. Get three written in-home estimates and show the mover everything, including items in attics, basements, garages, storage areas, sheds, etc. Typically, two of the estimates will be close in price, weight, and service.  Select one of those; movers with unusually high or low bids should generally be avoided.
  • Be wary of carriers seeking large down payments to hold dates or to reserve service.
  • Ask questions! The moving business can be complex and has its own jargon.  If you aren’t satisfied with the answers, or if the mover hesitates when you ask for clarification, talk to another company.
  • For interstate shipments, obtain and read the required “pre-move” documents from your carrier: Your Rights and Responsibilities, Ready to Move, and information on the arbitration program that the carrier participates in.
  • Make sure your mover is an AMSA member.  Find out more at

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NJWMA is a member of AMSA